3 Stocks Set to Beat the S&P Today

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LONDON -- European stock markets have shrugged off yesterday's stimulus efforts by central banks and are trading lower Friday as risk appetite in the continent wanes. Fears surrounding the eurozone debt crisis have resurfaced after Spain's 10-year bond yields once again reached the unsustainable 7% level.

Meanwhile, markets are looking to today's U.S. nonfarm payroll numbers for some signs of recovery, with hopes that the consensus estimate of a 90,000 increase may be beaten after the ADP report this week said the U.S. in fact hired more workers than expected in June. Early premarket trade has the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) flat to slightly lower, off around 0.2%.

Despite widely lackluster performance, there are a number of European companies making headway this morning. Here are three ADRs set to beat the S&P today.


Aviva
U.K. insurer Aviva (NYS: AV) is climbing more than 3% in London this morning after news the company is selling a stake in Dutch firm Delta Lloyd, offering as many as 37 million shares. The offering was increased from the 25 million shares announced yesterday, as investor demand came in higher than expected. Banks associated with the deal say the new shares will be priced at 10.5 euros to 11 euros apiece. The move comes as Aviva says it plans to sell 16 noncore units -- almost a third of its total units -- to help bolster its capital reserves.

ArcelorMittal
Steelmaker ArcelorMittal (NYS: MT) is making decent gains today after yesterday's share-price weakness offered an opportunity for bargain hunters. News emerged today that a bilateral agreement between Romania's Hidroelectrica and a local unit of ArcelorMittal may have included state aid for the steelmaker.

The EU's competition regulators said that an alleged loss of revenue incurred by Hidroelectrica after signing contracts to sell electricity to Arcelor in 2009 is attributable to the Romanian state -- in effect suggesting that the company received electricity at loss-making prices, subsidized by the Romanian government. ArcelorMittal has been trading more than 1% higher in Europe.

Sanofi
French pharmaceutical Sanofi (NYS: SNY) has been making good headway in Paris this morning amid speculation the company may be ready to announce job cuts after a meeting with labor unions today. A union representative said that the company plans to end its research in Toulouse as part of downsizing operations in France, placing around 600 jobs at risk. The union representative said that all told, the job losses could mount to a total of 2,000 across France as Sanofi attempts to regroup its operations in the capital.

Despite the ongoing eurozone troubles, this morning's European trading did provide some winners -- and perhaps some European buying opportunities. Indeed, legendary investor Warren Buffett has recently spent more than $1 billion buying the stock of a prominent European large-cap. If you want to know why Buffett has bought into Europe, this special Motley Fool report -- "The One European Share Warren Buffett Loves" -- reveals everything, including the price Mr Buffett paid. But hurry -- the report is available for a limited time only.

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At the time this article was published Karl does not own any share mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Arcelor Mittal. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

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